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Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Merry Go Round

(Knott's Berry Farm, Buena Park, CA. This is  a very accurate portrait of the amusement park from a child's point of view in the 1960s. The stone tragedy was my father's death when I was four years old. My mother was married to my stepfather when I wrote this, but I was unmmarried in my 20s)

by Susan Fox

In the wide open play fields of Knott's, Mother,
you and I
on the merry-go-round
were entertained on free days,
amid the rise and fall of warm sound.

I -- held to the rowing motion
of a concrete horse --
rode our stone tragedy
in the gritty music of my untried childhood.

Hungry seals wetting our dresses 

Little things absorbed us:
hungry seals wetting our dresses,
a red devil still cranking up the volcano   years --
wooden satyr, my first love,
you were buried on the Farm
by bigger buildings,
but remembered by the Child's heart.

This is the actual red devil
who kept the lava flowing
down the volcano!

The Child ran around these playfields,
skipped and fed the ducks;
her stomach turned
in the planes and angles
of a haunted shack.

The Child
searched the past for gold,
was lost
from her mother's track
and died in a shoot-out
at Knott's Berry Farm.

In the wide open fields of Knott's
we rode the world,
got off and then grew up.

Going back alone, Mother,
I find we are dead and gone,
married into other lives.

Volcano erupted repeatedly thanks to the action
of the red devil  cranking up the "volcano  years."
This was fascinating to me at a very young age.

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